Cancer fears over breast implants
At least 250 women in the UK are planning legal action following concerns that their breast implants are linked to cancer.
Reports say women intend to sue the clinics where they underwent surgery to be fitted with the implants, manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).
French authorities are expected to formally announce on Friday that up to 30,000 women who received a specific type of implant in France could have them taken out.
But UK regulators have insisted there is no link with cancer and there is no need for women to have them removed.
The Guardian reported that at least 250 women with PIP breast implants intended to sue at least six clinics in the UK. The Daily Telegraph said dozens of women intend to sue, including some who say they have been left unable to work due to a pins-and-needles sensation in their arms and hands, and constant pain.
The Government said UK regulators had consulted experts in nine countries over the safety concerns.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had spoken to health and regulatory teams and all agreed there was no evidence of an increased risk of the disease from the implants, the Department of Health said.
A spokesman said: "They all agreed that there was no evidence of any increase in incidents of cancer associated with PIP breast implants and no evidence of any disproportionate rupture rates. This is in line with UK findings. MHRA is currently advising that women with any concerns should make an appointment with their implanting surgeon and have a full discussion."
The implants have been linked to the death of a French woman from a rare form of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), and are implicated in another seven or eight cancer cases. The implants are filled with an unapproved non-medical grade silicone believed to be made for mattresses and there have been reports that the protective barriers are faulty.
New figures from the MHRA suggest 84,300 of the implants, manufactured by PIP, have been sold in the UK since 2001. Based on the assumption that each woman has two implants, an estimated 42,000 women in the UK could be affected, according to the MHRA. But the figure could be higher because women undergoing breast reconstructive surgery following cancer may only have had one implant.